"Unplug the Christmas Machine"

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"Unplug the Christmas Machine"

Post by whitedot » Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:37 pm

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002N ... s&v=glance

This book is excellent because it gives permission to celebrate Christmas exactly as much as you feel comfortable. One fabulous section involves the "unwritten rules of gift-giving."

1. Give a gift to everyone you expect to get one from.
2. If someone gives you a gift unexpectedly, reciprocate that year (prewrapped gift stash helpful)
3. When you add a name to your gift list, give that person a gift every year thereafter.
4. The amount of money you spend on a gift determines how much you care about the recipient.
5. Gifts exchanged between adults should be roughly equal in value.
6. The presents you give someone should be fairly consistent in value over the years.
7. If you give a gift to a person in one category (e.g. neighbor or coworker), give a gift to everyone in that category, and these gifts should be similar in value.
8. Women should give gifts to their close women friends.
9. Men should not give gifts to their male friends -- unless those gifts are alcoholic beverages.
10. Whenever the above rules cause you any difficulty, remedy the situation by buying more gifts.

An online sermon from a Unitarian minister has this to say about the "Rules":
I wanted to make sure you take the time this morning to read these so you can break them. Now that you have them in your hand, you can talk about them with your friends and family and decide which ones you want to observe or reject. We can still give each other gifts and make them meaningful if they can come from love and not from guilt or shame that drains the spiritual benefit out of gift giving.
Another inspiring analysis of gift overload is Amy Dacyczyn's "Christmas Morning Fulfillment Drama"
Act 1: Hubert opens up two presents - a Sno-Boggan and the King's Mountain Fortress Lego set. He is ecstatic and wants to play with the legos, but [Dad] insists he must open all his presents first.

Act 2 - Hubert continues opening presents and receives a Creepy Cruiser Car, Beetle Juice Neighborhood Nasty figures, and a Mario Brothers pinball game. His eyes are as big as saucers as he exclaims, "Cool! What else is for me?"

Act 3 - More tearing and flinging of paper reveals a Hasbro WWF Wresteling Ring, the Jetsons videotape and a Nasta Air Guitar. Hubert's inner monster begins to show itself as he distainfully points and says, "I didn't want that wrestling thing."

Act 4 - Hubert opens Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures, a Nintendo Game Boy and a Nikko Big Bubba radio control truck. "not this one. I told you. I wanted the Black Thunder Truck!"

[Mom] consoles him, "Don't worry, sweetie, we'll just take this one back and get the one you want." Hubert sulks, pokes through the empty wrappings and says, "Is that all I got?"--from The Complete Tightwad Gazette
Both of these books have lifted me out of wry, cynical despair at Christmas consumerism -- especially with children.

Jean Lotus

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